Does lowering blood pressure prevent retinopathy?

DOES lowering blood pressure (BP) prevent the development of retinopathy in patients with diabetes?

Hypertension is a risk factor for diabetic retinopathy. The high BP may damage the retinal capillaries, so controlling it could prevent retinopathy.

A Cochrane review found 15 random­ised trials of BP control. Although the 13,669 patients all had diabetes, not all of them had hypertension.

Intensive control of BP reduced the incidence of retinopathy over 4–5 years. The effect of BP control was similar in patients with type 1 or type 2 disease.